Census Records for Mississippi
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This entry was originally written by Kathleen Stanton Hutchison for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.
• Indexed—1820, 1830 (part), 1840, 1850, 1860 (part), 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930
• Soundex—1880, 1900, 1910, 1920
Industry and Agriculture Schedules
• 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880
• 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880
• 1850, 1860 (part)
Union Veterans Schedules
In 1817 Mississippi became the twentieth state to enter the union; therefore, the first federal population census available is that of 1820. Variations of this census appear in three printed forms, none of which include slave or miscellaneous information. Both the Mississippi 1820 Census and the Mississippi 1830 Census have been published by Irene and Norman Gillis, Shreveport, Louisiana. Enumerations for Pike County are missing in 1830, but the Gillis index used extant tax records to supplement their index. Transcriptions are subject to error and should be used simply as a guide to the original records. A significant addition to the 1840 census supplies the names and ages of pensioners. Schedules are missing for Hancock, Sunflower, and Washington counties in 1860. By 1870, with slavery abolished, all African Americans, natives, and Chinese were included, along with information regarding citizenship. With the destruction of the 1890 population schedules, only the schedules enumerating Union veterans are available for Mississippi.
Aside from those indexes produced by AISI two other indexes include Irene S. Gillis, comp., Mississippi 1850 Census Surname Index, 3 vols. (Shreveport: the compiler, 1972), and Kathryn Rose Bonner, comp., Mississippi 1860 United States Census Index, 3 vols. (Mariana, Ark.: the compiler, n.d.).
Microfilm copies of all federal census schedules and the original state copies of the 1850 through 1880 schedules are located at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Some of the original agriculture and industry schedules were lost after microfilming. Scattered reels of census schedules are available at other repositories in the state. Microfilm copies of federal censuses for Mississippi are available through national organizations (see pages 3-4).
An early census of the Natchez District, taken in 1792 from the Spanish Provincial records, has been printed in Dunbar Rowland, History of Mississippi, The Heart of the South, 4 vols. (Chicago: S. J. Clark Publishing Co., 1925). Other censuses from the Spanish Colonial period (1784, 1787, 1788, and 1794) can be found in the Papeles Procedentes de Cuba (The Cuban Papers) located at the General Archives of the Indies in Seville, Spain. See Roscoe R. Hill, Descriptive Catalogue of the Documents Relating to the History of the United States in the Papeles Procedentes de Cuba (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Institute of Washington, 1916).
Territorial and State
Territorial census reports were authorized by the legislature of Mississippi Territory at different intervals from 1798 until 1817. A useful start with territorial census information may be found in Norman E. Gillis, Early Inhabitants of the Natchez District (Shreveport: the author, 1963). Although the information was gathered from secondary sources, it still remains a helpful tool. The original records are housed at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. These census records are available for research purposes at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and for purchase on microfilm from Underground Vaults & Storage, Inc., P.O. Box 1723, Hutchinson, KS 67504-1723.
One other special census, known as the “Armstrong Roll of 1831” (see Census Records for Alabama), was taken following the signing of the Choctaw “Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek,” the last major land concession made by the Native Americans to the Europeans. Some of the information on this roll includes names of the Choctaw tribal members, whites who married Choctaw natives, and slaves. An indirect source giving census information is the Educable Children Records, a census of school-age children taken by county. Although the Mississippi Department of Archives and History has some of these records, many are still located at each county superintendent of education’s office. These records are arranged at the archives by county with no index available.